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TNIAAM ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament early quarterfinals Open Thread

There are other games before Syracuse faces Duke, believe it or not.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Pittsburgh vs Syracuse Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team was without Tyus Battle last night, but it didn’t stop them from beating the Pittsburgh Panthers, 73-59. Now, they move onto the ACC Tournament quarterfinals to face the 3-seed Duke Blue Devils. But before they play at 9 p.m.-ish tonight, there are a few other games on.

You can check out the whole bracket here, however, we dive into each game a little bit more below. Hopefully you get to watch a bit from your office, home or elsewhere.

All times ET, all games on ESPN

No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers vs. No. 8 N.C. State Wolfpack, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)

State may have gotten a bit lucky yesterday against Clemson, but in any case, they’re through to the quarterfinals. No one really came closer to knocking off Virginia without succeeding than NC State did in their 66-65 overtime loss, so they’ll try to recapture some of that magic in this one. But the Wolfpack team that played UVA close isn’t the same one that’s struggled through the schedule since. The Hoos are likely to get right through to the semis.

No. 4 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

FSU beat Tech by nine in overtime a little over a week ago — a game where neither team shot all that well from outside (both were under 30 percent). If the Hokies avoid turnovers and hit at a higher clip from three, they stand a good chance to collect the win. But FSU’s balanced offensive attack is hard to slow down, and there’s a chance Terance Mann & Co. benefited greatly from the extra rest.

No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 7 Louisville Cardinals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Carolina’s on a tear since February 11 — their last loss, to UVA. The only other team to beat the Heels in conference play this year was this same Louisville team (a dominant 83-62 blowout at the Dean Dome). Louisville’s been a bit shell-shocked since the Duke comeback, but Jordan Nwora’s 24 points against Notre Dame on Wednesday seemed to indicate he’s returned to form. The rest of the Cards’ offense may follow, though they’ll likely need to put up more points than they have in any game over the last month and a half.